Petitioning for Alternate Medical Care or Independent Medical Examination in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Many workers who are injured on the job require ongoing medical treatment, and workers’ compensation insurance is responsible for paying for this treatment. Employers have the right to choose the medical providers that their injured employees use for treatment. These doctors and other providers must provide medical care reasonably suited to treat the work injury, and many workers who were hurt on the job have no problems with the medical care they receive.

However, disputes do arise in some cases where an injured employee disagrees with the treatment administered, the doctor’s opinion regarding when the employee can return to work, or work restrictions imposed by the employer-chosen doctor. An injured employee's level of impairment is another often contentious issue.

The first step in any medical dispute is to try to resolve it by speaking with the employer and/or insurance company. If the employer or insurance company doesn't resolve the dispute, the injured employee can file a petition with the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner (IWCC).

What If I'm Dissatisfied With My Medical Treatment?  Petitioning the IWCC to Approve Alternate Care

If an employee who was hurt at work is dissatisfied with the medical care provided by the employer's chosen medical providers, the employee can seek alternate medical care by filing Form 100C requesting the Workers' Compensation Commissioner to issue a decision on the matter.  An attorney can assist the worker in filling out this form.

Form 100C, the Original Notice, Petition and Answer Concerning Application for Alternate Medical Care, requires the following information:

  • Basic information about the claimant, employer, and insurance carrier.
  • Information about the injury, such as the date and location of the injury.
  • The reason for dissatisfaction with the care provided. 

After the employee files the petition, a hearing will be scheduled. The parties may request the hearing to be conducted in-person or via telephone.  Any request for an in-person hearing will be approved unless it would be impractical for one of the parties because of distance. The Workers’ Compensation Commissioner will issue a decision within 10 days after a telephone hearing, or within 14 days if the hearing is conducted in-person.

Do I Have Other Options If I Disagree With an Impairment Rating?  Petitioning For an Independent Medical Examination

Employees who suffer a permanent injury will receive an impairment rating issued by the doctor. Some injured workers are suspicious of or otherwise disagree with the employer-chosen doctor’s impairment assessment, and may wish to have another doctor determine the level of impairment. In such a case the worker may request an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by filing Form 100A with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. The employer is required to pay for this IME.

Form 100A, the Original Notice, Petition, Answer and Order Concerning Independent Medical Examination, requires the following information:

  • Basic information about the claimant, employer, and insurance carrier.
  • Information about the new physician, including the examination date and location.
  • Information about the work injury, such as the date and location of the injury.
  • The name of the physician who made the previous evaluation of permanent disability.
  • The previous evaluation of permanent disability, attached to the petition.

Get Legal Help in Des Moines

The law firm of Walker, Billingsley & Bair helps injured workers who are dissatisfied with their current medical treatment or disagree with a doctor's determination of their level of impairment. Contact our office at 888-435-9886 to set up a free consultation, or contact us online to set up your appointment.  You can also request a copy of our free book, Iowa Workers' Compensation - An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.